Authorities in Macau’s neighbouring city of Zhuhai, Guangdong province, announced on Tuesday an extension – until the end of Thursday (September 30) – of a requirement for all arrivals from Macau to undergo a 14-day compulsory quarantine.
The quarantine measure excludes people working either in the logistics industry, funerals sector or in medical services.
Zhuhai is the main gateway to Macau for mainland China visitors. JP Morgan Securities (Asia-Pacific) Ltd said in a Sunday note that without clarity on when the inbound quarantine to Zhuhai would be ultimately lifted, many Chinese tourists were likely to cancel their trips to Macau, “to avoid risk of being quarantined upon their return to the mainland”.
Several tourism industry insiders had last week told GGRAsia they were hopeful the October Golden Week festive period, starting on October 1, would bring many mainland visitors – particularly from Guangdong – to Macau.
Macau Travel Industry Council president, Andy Wu Keng Kuong, told GGRAsia on Monday that “the initial expectation for the October Golden Week was that the Cotai casino resorts might see an average occupancy rate at 80 percent to 90 percent.”
He added: “But that rate now might stand at just 50 percent to 60 percent, as many cancellations of bookings had happened throughout the weekend following Macau’s news of the new Covid-19 infection cases”.
A statement issued by the Macau government on late Tuesday said boundary-crossing measures with Zhuhai would be “timely adjusted, according to advancements on Macau’s pandemic situation”. The note followed a meeting between government representatives respectively from Macau and Zhuhai.
The compulsory quarantine measure was introduced by Zhuhai authorities on Sunday, due to the risk of a community outbreak of Covid-19 in Macau. It was related with two men living in Macau being confirmed as having Covid-19. Both worked as security guards in a hotel used by the city authorities for Covid-19 compulsory quarantine procedures.
The two cases were said to be linked to a Macau permanent resident who had been undergoing quarantine after returning from overseas: he was confirmed in the early hours of Friday as having Covid-19, and classified as an imported case.
Inbound travellers to Macau coming from outside mainland China are obliged to undergo preventive medical quarantine at selected local hotels, allotted for Macau government use amid the city’s response to the Covid-19 emergency. The length of the compulsory quarantine varies according to the place of origin of each traveller.
On Tuesday, the Macau authorities announced a total of four new cases of Covid-19, all involving security guards working in hotels used for quarantine purposes.
The four cases were said to be all linked to the two security guard infections announced over the weekend. The four cases were detected after staff with close contact with those two infections were put in preventive quarantine by Macau’s health authorities.
Meanwhile, the Macau authorities completed on Tuesday a three-day mass testing of the entire population. Samples were collected from a total of 689.766 people, and all results came negative for Covid-19.
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